My elementary school is taking a year-long look at what it means to be strong, thanks to the book Strong is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker. Each month, we focus on a new chapter and trait. I've incorporated this into my science class by pairing each trait with a picture book biography of a woman in a S.T.E.M. field. This series of posts details each month's work.
Chapter Two of Strong is the New Pretty, and October's trait, is "wild." I chose to highlight the life and work of Jane Goodall for this. After all, Dr. Goodall's journey to Tanzania at age 26 and her years spent observing wild chimpanzees, and later, traveling the world to spread the message of conservation, epitomize the trait. You can read more about her life and work here. For my students, I selected The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter. There are many picture books available about Dr. Goodall, but this was my favorite for its simplicity yet thorough coverage of her work.
I also supplemented our reading and discussion with this video of Dr. Goodall and the release of a rehabilitated chimp named Wounda into the wilds of their Tchindzoulou Island refuge. If you haven't seen it, it may bring tears to your eyes!
Again, some students created pictures and wrote about how Dr. Goodall showed that being wild can be strong. Check back for pictures of their work on our class bulletin board.